Have you ever started riding your bike and it simply felt wrong? You felt too stretched out and uncomfortable? Well, you were likely riding the wrong size bike.
Riding a bike in such a way can cause injuries like back pain, be it short or long term. What size road bike do I need? – you may ask. Ask no more, as this article will help you find the right size bike for you.
How to find the Perfect Road Bike Size for You?
How to choose the perfect bike now that you understand the importance of appropriate bike size? What size road bike do you need for your height? To find these answers, the frame’s size is one of the first things you should consider. Choosing it correctly will allow your bike to feel comfortable in all critical contact areas, such as the saddle, handlebars, and pedals. Continue reading to learn more about the measurements required to identify your ideal bike size.
Follow the road bike frame size guide
To have the best experience with your road bike, you want to have the right size frame. To assist you, we’ve created a comprehensive road bike size chart which you can find below.
Seat tube lengths are used by many road bike manufacturers to size their frames. However, keep in mind that how one company fits its bikes may differ from how another does. And if you are not confused yet, it is also essential to know that while road bikes are often measured by seat tube length, mountain bikes are typically sized by S, M, and L. Therefore, be cautious when making your decision.
Measure your stand-over height
If you are shopping for a bike at a physical store, measuring your stand-over height is relatively easy. All you have to do is ensure you can straddle your bike with your feet flat on the ground.
When you elevate the bike while straddling it, you should have a 1″ to 2″ clearance between the ground and the tires (depending on the type of top tube). Moreover, remember to wear your cycling shoes since they add to your overall leg length.
Get your saddle in the right position
You can use several methods to get your saddle in the correct position. One of them is placing your heel on the pedal and pedal backward. You should have a straight knee, and if your knee is still bent, you should increase your saddle height.
You can also measure the distance between your crotch and the floor and multiply it by 0.883 to get your saddle height (The LeMond Method). Another great method is to have the crank arm at a three o’clock position and see if your knee is precisely above the pedal spindle (The Knee Over Pedal Spindle Rule).
Measure your ‘Ape Index’
Ape index means the ratio of your height to your arm span. To correctly measure your ape index, subtract your height from the length of your arm span. This index will determine your reach. So, if your arm span exceeds your height, we recommend getting a larger size bike. On the other hand, if your arms spread is shorter than your height, a smaller size bike is recommended.
Your height and inside leg measurements may place you in the middle of two size categories. In this scenario, the size of your upper body should be the deciding element in choosing the right bike.
Measure the stack height
Stack height is the vertical distance between the center of the bottom bracket and the center of the top of the headtube. To correctly determine the right stack height for you, you must first measure the distance between the floor and the top section of the head tube, then the distance between the floor and the bottom bracket.
The frame’s stack is calculated by subtracting the bottom bracket height from the top tube height. Knowing this measurement will help you determine the needed size.
Get the correct tire sizes
Your bicycle tires may not be something you think about very often, but they significantly impact every element of your ride. To know the tire size, you need to look for its width and diameter. The width is a measurement of the approximate entire width of the tire when installed and inflated, and the diameter approximates the tire’s total outside diameter, including treads.
How Do You Size Yourself for a Road Bike?
If you want to order a bike online, it is essential to measure yourself. But how do you size yourself for a road bike? The following measurements are required:
- Leg Inseam. The leg inseam is measured from the top of your crotch to the bottom of your feet. This measurement indicates the bike’s length from the saddle to the pedal, which aids in determining the proper height.
- Arm Length. Measure your arm length with your fist closed. Beginning at the end of your collarbone, extend the measuring tape to the middle of your fist. While riding, this is the distance between the seat and the bike’s handle.
- Torso Length. The optimal seat height is determined by measuring the length of your upper torso. This measurement should be taken from your sternum down to your crotch.
With all of the measures required, determining the correct bike size can be a challenging task. However, once you have found the right size bike, you will discover that it was well worth the effort.